"Royal Navy does not have enough ships" says new survey.

So, dying pointlessly while marching up and down or riding horses is the order of the day?

" In a statement accompanying the release of the report RUSI highlighted the scale of the capability shortage problem facing the British.
The cornerstone of the British military's entire fires capability runs to only two regiments of 24 aging AS90 155-mm, 39-calibre, self-propelled howitzers.

Its 16 Air Assault Brigade and 3 Commando Brigade can each field just two batteries of six 105-mm light guns.

And the UK’s Multiple Launch Rocket System is issued with a GPS-guided rocket with a unitary warhead, which is inaccurate in the face of extensive Russian GPS jamming, is unable to course-correct and so cannot reliably engage dynamic targets, and has 85 km range, as compared with 120 km for Russian systems.

By contrast a Russian motor-rifle brigade alone fields an organic fires compliment of 81 artillery pieces, ranging from 152-mm and 203-mm self-propelled howitzers to 300-mm, multiple-launch rocket systems, the RUSI study said.

As a minimum, analysts argue, a credible British fires capability would need to include:
a battery of antitank guided missiles per battle group;
a battery of self propelled 120-mm mortars per battle group;
at least 72 155-mm, 52-calibre self-propelled howitzers with anti-armor, area-effect munitions;
and a regiment of multiple-launch rocket systems with a compliment of anti-armor, area-effect munitions, plus long-range precision fire "

In fairness, the RUSI are over egging the pudding a bit. Still, 36 2S19 and 12 BM21 are nothing to sneeze at.

I’ve been drawing replacement range rings for the battlebox just recently. Fun fact: I didn’t do any for the Russian artillery because at 1:25k a 2S19 range ring is just shy of 9 square metres...
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
My point though is that CAS becomes less of a priority for the boys in blue when they have fewer assets to use. The F-35 can do CAS, but strike and counter air will be the zoomies preferred use for the air frame. The A-10 is kept around because it will only be used to support the Army, and thus CAS will always be available. Just a lower tech platform.
No. People don't have 'preferences'. They have tasks that need addressing. If CAS becomes a priority, then CAS happens.

Some of that deep strike might taking out the advancing armour and artillery units which make will CAS a necessity, so it's still CAS in effect.

The A-10 is only still around because of Senators' interventions. The USAF wanted rid of it.

The A-10 has for years been portrayed as a victim of the 'fast jet mafia', with such as the F-16 being favoured purely because it's supersonic.

That's not true. The F-16 (for one) is favoured because it can cover ground more quickly, so can get to where it's needed (which the A-10 often can't do); because it can survive in a contested environment; because it can take care of itself against other aircraft; because it has better all-weather performance; and because it has a better and more versatile weapons fit.

For reference, consider which is the A-10's primary anti-tank weapon (hint: it's no longer the gun).

You might use an A-10 to brass up an Afghan compound but there are plenty of other aircraft that can put rounds through a mud wall. There are plenty of other aircraft that can put a hole in a mud wall which doesn't involve using a gun and obliging the pilot to come in low and steady where there's a greater possibility of ground fire. And please don't say, "Ah, but it's armoured." A modern SAM will shred an A-10 and there are plenty of those around. Stand-off is the name of the game these days.

The political fig-leaf might be that the A-10 is being kept around only to support the army but the reality is that it's only there because of the arrogance and pressure of certain politicians. Effectively, the USAF has been forced to keep on strength a platform that is outdated in a modern environment. Effectively, that means that it has been forced to keep on strength a platform that is far more likely to get its pilots killed because some people in suits safe on their arses back in CONUS wanted a vanity project - a flying gun that allows them to feel all Hollywood.
 
No. In a modern environment the A-10 will simply get shot out of the sky anywhere around the FEBA. All you'll be doing is sending some men to die bravely and pointlessly.

We have Gen 4 aircraft to do CAS and the F-35.

I'd pick an F-16 over an A-10 any day. I'd rather my pilot came back alive.

You're missing a point here, which I tried to make with the F-16/B-17 comparison. Fewer doesn't mean less capability. It can mean more if the fewer are exponentially more capable. That's the difference.

F-35 isn't just deep strike. It's CAS as well.

Sorry, but there's absolutely nothing to say that a dozen A-10s are more effective than two F-35s.
My point though is that CAS becomes less of a priority for the boys in blue when they have fewer assets to use. The F-35 can do CAS, but strike and counter air will be the zoomies priority for the air frame.
No. People don't have 'preferences'. They have tasks that need addressing. If CAS becomes a priority, then CAS happens.

Some of that deep strike might taking out the advancing armour and artillery units which make will CAS a necessity, so it's still CAS in effect.

The A-10 is only still around because of Senators' interventions. The USAF wanted rid of it.

The A-10 has for years been portrayed as a victim of the 'fast jet mafia', with such as the F-16 being favoured purely because it's supersonic.

That's not true. The F-16 (for one) is favoured because it can cover ground more quickly, so can get to where it's needed (which the A-10 often can't do); because it can survive in a contested environment; because it can take care of itself against other aircraft; because it has better all-weather performance; and because it has a better and more versatile weapons fit.

For reference, consider which is the A-10's primary anti-tank weapon (hint: it's no longer the gun).

You might use an A-10 to brass up an Afghan compound but there are plenty of other aircraft that can put rounds through a mud wall. There are plenty of other aircraft that can put a hole in a mud wall which doesn't involve using a gun and obliging the pilot to come in low and steady where there's a greater possibility of ground fire. And please don't say, "Ah, but it's armoured." A modern SAM will shred an A-10 and there are plenty of those around. Stand-off is the name of the game these days.

The political fig-leaf might be that the A-10 is being kept around only to support the army but the reality is that it's only there because of the arrogance and pressure of certain politicians. Effectively, the USAF has been forced to keep on strength a platform that is outdated in a modern environment. Effectively, that means that it has been forced to keep on strength a platform that is far more likely to get its pilots killed because some people in suits safe on their arses back in CONUS wanted a vanity project - a flying gun that allows them to feel all Hollywood.
The primary would be the AGM-65, until it is replaced by the AGM-179 replaces it over time. But that gun can still kill tanks and other armored vehicles which makes it useful.

The A-10 however is also a fairly tough bird, so don't discount the aircraft because it is old school.

The F-16's will also take a bit of a beating as many other 4th generation aircraft against a modern SAM belt. But I also imagine many of them will be dealing with enemy air defenses and doing the job of knocking back the Russian ADA assets. The A-10's will be a part of the total package, until they are eventually phased out of service. So if you have it you might as well plan to use it. Do the Typhoons have a SEAD ability?
 
But that gun can still kill tanks and other armored vehicles which makes it useful.

The A-10 however is also a fairly tough bird, so don't discount the aircraft because it is old school.

The F-16's will also take a bit of a beating as many other 4th generation aircraft against a modern SAM belt. But I also imagine many of them will be dealing with enemy air defenses and doing the job of knocking back the Russian ADA assets. The A-10's will be a part of the total package, until they are eventually phased out of service. So if you have it you might as well plan to use it. Do the Typhoons have a SEAD ability?
No it can’t kill tanks with that gun. It is Cold War technology. If you want to get technical, the 30mm on an apache fires a similar round. It cannot defeat current generation armour.

Typhoon has SEAD capability which it inherited from the F3. What an irrelevant point, but this is about CVF, not USAF vs RAF.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
No it can’t kill tanks with that gun. It is Cold War technology. If you want to get technical, the 30mm on an apache fires a similar round. It cannot defeat current generation armour.

Typhoon has SEAD capability which it inherited from the F3. What an irrelevant point, but this is about CVF, not USAF vs RAF.
We don't have SEAD at the moment. The F.3 SEAD was something that we had very briefly but the main ALARM carrier was the GR version. We retired ALARM and we don't use HARM.

SEAD is a current gap in our inventory. There's the following under development but it looks to be a spoofing capability rather than a kinetic killer:


There are various other things under way elsewhere, including this:

 
We don't have SEAD at the moment. The F.3 SEAD was something that we had very briefly but the main ALARM carrier was the GR version. We retired ALARM and we don't use HARM.

SEAD is a current gap in our inventory. There's the following under development but it looks to be a spoofing capability rather than a kinetic killer:


There are various other things under way elsewhere, including this:

A very interesting development.
 

Mattb

LE
If you want to get technical, the 30mm on an apache fires a similar round.
Erm, no it doesn't.

M230 uses a shorter case and thus has a much lower muzzle velocity - it doesn't fire AP ammunition.
 
No it can’t kill tanks with that gun. It is Cold War technology. If you want to get technical, the 30mm on an apache fires a similar round. It cannot defeat current generation armour.

Typhoon has SEAD capability which it inherited from the F3. What an irrelevant point, but this is about CVF, not USAF vs RAF.
Not quite.
Having a SEAD capability will help aircraft survive in a contested environment as it well help determine tactics used.
 
We don't have SEAD at the moment. The F.3 SEAD was something that we had very briefly but the main ALARM carrier was the GR version. We retired ALARM and we don't use HARM.

SEAD is a current gap in our inventory. There's the following under development but it looks to be a spoofing capability rather than a kinetic killer:


There are various other things under way elsewhere, including this:

@Cold_Collation @Mattb
I am clearly well out of date!
 
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jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
My point though is that CAS becomes less of a priority for the boys in blue when they have fewer assets to use. The F-35 can do CAS, but strike and counter air will be the zoomies priority for the air frame.
Because that plus SEAD is what makes the skies safe enough to conduct CAS.

You can't do CAS if the enemy have cratered your airbase with TBMs fired from well behind the lines. Someone's got to go deep to find and smite those before they take out too much of the ATO.

You can't do CAS if your A-10s are being shot out of the sky by enemy fighters on their way to the front line.

You can't do CAS in an A-10 until you've knocked back the overlapping and interlocking range rings of SA-17, SA-15 and SA-13, then suppressed the SA-22/19 and all the MANPADs - unless you like watching your aircraft explode in mid-air before they get a weapon off.

The primary would be the AGM-65, until it is replaced by the AGM-179 replaces it over time. But that gun can still kill tanks and other armored vehicles which makes it useful.
Back in 1977, they put a squadron of thirteen M47 tanks out as a target array. To be fair, they did make sure they were loaded with fuel and ammunition. Two A-10s then made a total of twenty firing passes on the (static, undefended) tank company, resulting in a total of 98 hits. Three tanks were assessed as having been immobilised, and two had their guns put out of action by hits on the barrel: none suffered critical or irreparable damage.

So, twenty firing passes result in three M-kills and two F-kills: being very charitable, that means that under ideal conditions an A-10 has a one-in-four chance of causing significant (but not catastrophic) damage to a 1950s-vintage tank.

Of course, this is in sunlit desert, against a known target, which isn't moving, hiding, laying smoke, shooting back, or defended in any way, all of which will make it much easier for A-10 pilots to get hits.

And of course modern tanks are much less robust and well-armoured than the famed M47, so will be more vulnerable to 30mm cannon fire.

he6 A-10 however is also a fairly tough bird, so don't discount the aircraft because it is old school.

The F-16's will also take a bit of a beating as many other 4th generation aircraft against a modern SAM belt.
Comparing a good side-by-side case for F-16 and A-10, there were 8,640 sorties flown by A-10s in Operation Desert Storm/Sabre, compared to 11,698 by F-16s. Six A-10s were lost and fourteen damaged, compared to three F-16s lost and four damaged.

So, an A-10 was lost for every 1440 sorties flown; compared to an F-16 lost for every 3899 sorties; A-10s were shot down at nearly three times the rate of F-16s, and damaged nearly five times more often.

The picture is actually even worse, because early in the campaign the rapidly escalating A-10 losses forced them to be pulled back from the dangerous targets, and limited to the border "kill boxes" that other types used to expend any remaining ordnance. General Chuck Horner, the 'Air Boss' in Desert Storm, described in an Air Force Magazine interview (June 1991) how:-

The other problem is that the A-10 is vulnerable to hits because its speed is limited. It's a function of thrust, it's not a function of anything else. We had a lot of A-10s take a lot of ground fire hits. Quite frankly, we pulled the A-10s back from going up around the Republican Guard and kept them on Iraq's [less formidable] front-line units. That's line [sic] if you have a force that allows you to do that. In this case, we had F-16s to go after the Republican Guard.
So the F-16s took much lower losses, despite hitting the targets that the A-10s found too dangerous to go after.

If you limit it to “okay, you got hit, now what?” then 57% of damaged F-16s made it home compared to 70% of A-10s… but the F-16s were much better at getting in, hitting the target and getting out undamaged.


The problem keeps coming back to the fact that - despite the widespread and erroneous belief that the A-10 was "built as a tankbuster to stop the Soviet horde" it was actually designed as a replacement for the A-1 Skyraider to provide "low and slow" air support in a very low-threat environment like South Vietnam, where it would have air supremacy and no more serious surface-to-air threats than heavy machine guns and the occasional SA-7. It was forced into the "tankbuster" role because, having bought over 700 airframes ready for "the next Vietnam", the popular mood was "no more Vietnams!"; but it was never intended for that role, nor would it have survived or succeeded at it - it's just that there was nothing else for it to do.

If the A-10 was survivable and effective against enemy armoured divisions, the Israelis would have been grabbing them straight from the factory... but having been roughly pineappled by layered air defences in 1973, they wouldn't touch the A-10 with a bargepole, any more than the South Koreans (similar threat, similar problems) despite Fairchild-Republic's best efforts to drum up export sales.
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
Erm, no it doesn't.

M230 uses a shorter case and thus has a much lower muzzle velocity - it doesn't fire AP ammunition.
Actually it does, but it's a HEDP (high explosive dual purpose) shaped charge, rather than a kinetic penetrator.

1584613463838.png
 
Because that plus SEAD is what makes the skies safe enough to conduct CAS.

You can't do CAS if the enemy have cratered your airbase with TBMs fired from well behind the lines. Someone's got to go deep to find and smite those before they take out too much of the ATO.

You can't do CAS if your A-10s are being shot out of the sky by enemy fighters on their way to the front line.

You can't do CAS in an A-10 until you've knocked back the overlapping and interlocking range rings of SA-17, SA-15 and SA-13, then suppressed the SA-22/19 and all the MANPADs - unless you like watching your aircraft explode in mid-air before they get a weapon off.



Back in 1977, they put a squadron of thirteen M47 tanks out as a target array. To be fair, they did make sure they were loaded with fuel and ammunition. Two A-10s then made a total of twenty firing passes on the (static, undefended) tank company, resulting in a total of 98 hits. Three tanks were assessed as having been immobilised, and two had their guns put out of action by hits on the barrel: none suffered critical or irreparable damage.

So, twenty firing passes result in three M-kills and two F-kills: being very charitable, that means that under ideal conditions an A-10 has a one-in-four chance of causing significant (but not catastrophic) damage to a 1950s-vintage tank.

Of course, this is in sunlit desert, against a known target, which isn't moving, hiding, laying smoke, shooting back, or defended in any way, all of which will make it much easier for A-10 pilots to get hits.

And of course modern tanks are much less robust and well-armoured than the famed M47, so will be more vulnerable to 30mm cannon fire.



Comparing a good side-by-side case for F-16 and A-10, there were 8,640 sorties flown by A-10s in Operation Desert Storm/Sabre, compared to 11,698 by F-16s. Six A-10s were lost and fourteen damaged, compared to three F-16s lost and four damaged.

So, an A-10 was lost for every 1440 sorties flown; compared to an F-16 lost for every 3899 sorties; A-10s were shot down at nearly three times the rate of F-16s, and damaged nearly five times more often.

The picture is actually even worse, because early in the campaign the rapidly escalating A-10 losses forced them to be pulled back from the dangerous targets, and limited to the border "kill boxes" that other types used to expend any remaining ordnance. General Chuck Horner, the 'Air Boss' in Desert Storm, described in an Air Force Magazine interview (June 1991) how:-



So the F-16s took much lower losses, despite hitting the targets that the A-10s found too dangerous to go after.

If you limit it to “okay, you got hit, now what?” then 57% of damaged F-16s made it home compared to 70% of A-10s… but the F-16s were much better at getting in, hitting the target and getting out undamaged.


The problem keeps coming back to the fact that - despite the widespread and erroneous belief that the A-10 was "built as a tankbuster to stop the Soviet horde" it was actually designed as a replacement for the A-1 Skyraider to provide "low and slow" air support in a very low-threat environment like South Vietnam, where it would have air supremacy and no more serious surface-to-air threats than heavy machine guns and the occasional SA-7. It was forced into the "tankbuster" role because, having bought over 700 airframes ready for "the next Vietnam", the popular mood was "no more Vietnams!"; but it was never intended for that role, nor would it have survived or succeeded at it - it's just that there was nothing else for it to do.

If the A-10 was survivable and effective against enemy armoured divisions, the Israelis would have been grabbing them straight from the factory... but having been roughly pineappled by layered air defences in 1973, they wouldn't touch the A-10 with a bargepole, any more than the South Koreans (similar threat, similar problems) despite Fairchild-Republic's best efforts to drum up export sales.
We have F-22’s you know, they might have some counter air sorties in mind.
F-16CJ’s to take the SEAD fight to the enemy ADA.


It seems the A-10 drivers plan to work in difficult conditions.
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
We have F-22’s you know, they might have some counter air sorties in mind.
F-16CJ’s to take the SEAD fight to the enemy ADA.
And the A-10s are firmly ground-bound until they've finished their work. Who's doing CAS in the meantime?

There was a cartoon from the 1980s of two Soviet generals, drinking champagne by the Arc de Triomphe and watching the Red Army's victory parade through Paris... and one of them asks the other "Did we ever find out who won the air war?"

Meanwhile, until the skies are safe enough for them to survive, the A-10s are taking up ramp space that other airframes could be making more productive use of..

Even back when they were meant to be doing "CAS on the Central Front"... the A-10s were based at RAF Bentwaters, four hundred miles (two hours each way) from the action. Not exactly responsive, high-priority stuff, is it?


It seems the A-10 drivers plan to work in difficult conditions.
[/QUOTE]

And a very short life expectancy: note the projected loss rate for 1980s operations. The Russians have moved on considerably in their air-defence capability: the A-10... is just as vulnerable now as it was then.

You must really hate A-10 pilots and the troops they're meant to be supporting...
 
And the A-10s are firmly ground-bound until they've finished their work. Who's doing CAS in the meantime?

There was a cartoon from the 1980s of two Soviet generals, drinking champagne by the Arc de Triomphe and watching the Red Army's victory parade through Paris... and one of them asks the other "Did we ever find out who won the air war?"

Meanwhile, until the skies are safe enough for them to survive, the A-10s are taking up ramp space that other airframes could be making more productive use of..

Even back when they were meant to be doing "CAS on the Central Front"... the A-10s were based at RAF Bentwaters, four hundred miles (two hours each way) from the action. Not exactly responsive, high-priority stuff, is it?


It seems the A-10 drivers plan to work in difficult conditions.

They know the risks, but they will fly anyways. Why do you assume a near peer scuffle will be casualty free? I would imagine your own Typhoons are going to have a hard time, are they going to be grounded? Will you leave your battalions, who are out gunned as it is , without any support? Or will you try to hoard assets at the expense of being defeated?
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
They know the risks, but they will fly anyways. Why do you assume a near peer scuffle will be casualty free?
Do I? Really? Can you remind me when I ever said something that obviously stupid?

I would imagine your own Typhoons are going to have a hard time, are they going to be grounded?
No. They're going to take losses while they do their job.

Unlike the A-10s, which are basically slow, tempting target drones to a SA-19 or SA-22 vehicle (of which every Russian manoveuvre battalion has a troop) - which will be shot down at a much higher rate, and be much less able to actually achieve their mission. A-10s couldn't survive that tasking thirty years ago: the airframe is no faster or better protected, the defences they're facing are radically improved over Iraq in 1991.

Why do you insist that you want to take much higher losses in aircraft and aircrew, and offer much less support to the troops on the ground, just because you get sweatily excited about that big gun on the A-10?
 
Do I? Really? Can you remind me when I ever said something that obviously stupid?



No. They're going to take losses while they do their job.

Unlike the A-10s, which are basically slow, tempting target drones to a SA-19 or SA-22 vehicle (of which every Russian manoveuvre battalion has a troop) - which will be shot down at a much higher rate, and be much less able to actually achieve their mission. A-10s couldn't survive that tasking thirty years ago: the airframe is no faster or better protected, the defences they're facing are radically improved over Iraq in 1991.

Why do you insist that you want to take much higher losses in aircraft and aircrew, and offer much less support to the troops on the ground, just because you get sweatily excited about that big gun on the A-10?
Because the Army has plans to help deal with Russian ADA.

The A-10 is a platform we have, it will be used. It is not a worthless airframe. It will be part of a combined arms team.
 
Because the Army has plans to help deal with Russian ADA.

The A-10 is a platform we have, it will be used. It is not a worthless airframe. It will be part of a combined arms team.
The Army doesn't have any A10s in fact no one in the UK forces has A10s
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
Because the Army has plans to help deal with Russian ADA.
"Everyone's got a plan, until they get hit", as the saying goes. The USAF had a plan to suppress Iraqi AD enough that A-10s could go after the Republican Guard: turned out that the A-10s were getting shot to pieces, meaning that not only were they failing to destroy their targets, but other airframes were then having to be diverted to provide CSAR and RESCAP.

Still, I'm sure this time it'll all be different...

The A-10 is a platform we have, it will be used. It is not a worthless airframe. It will be part of a combined arms team.
You're the only person calling it a "worthless airplane" - it's just that its worth is narrowly limited to specific scenarios.

By the time A-10s can survive in the skies above a peer-level opponent, you've already won the war.
 
"Everyone's got a plan, until they get hit", as the saying goes. The USAF had a plan to suppress Iraqi AD enough that A-10s could go after the Republican Guard: turned out that the A-10s were getting shot to pieces, meaning that not only were they failing to destroy their targets, but other airframes were then having to be diverted to provide CSAR and RESCAP.

Still, I'm sure this time it'll all be different...



You're the only person calling it a "worthless airplane" - it's just that its worth is narrowly limited to specific scenarios.

By the time A-10s can survive in the skies above a peer-level opponent, you've already won the war.
I assume the UK is not investing much in long range fires?
 

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